Most people assume that I will return to meat eating at some point in my life. I really don’t think that is the case, but living in the Midwest bears with it an intense carnivorous pressure. I really only like a few different types of meat, and I do miss some good hot-wings, and seafood sushi, but I am pretty sure I can live without it. People always ask why people are vegetarians, and some asshole at every family event inevitably holds a turkey leg or some piece of meat in front of your face to signal to you just how appealing the flesh of another creature is to eat. While I could gnaw the heck out of some pulled pork BBQ, I don’t appreciate the waving of animal carcasses or slabs of meat as a friendly reminder that I am the one vegetarian freak show at the function. This is why I need to live on a coast. Not only would there be excellent coffee shops, but there might be a bit more tolerance for or embracing of my food habits. And why is it that coffee shops always have vegetarian options? Hippies? I love being vegetarian and I hope that I can be vegan again at some point; I may stop buying leather, but I think it is stupid to throw away or give away leather clothes/shoes that one already owns. I think there is no point really in desecrating God’s creatures—whether that means killing them or exploiting them.. We are supposed to be a part of the creation not Lord over all creation.
On another less preachy note, I am still in the process of reading The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing and I think it is an amazing book. I recommend it but with reservation. I am having a difficult time following the structure, but it feels quite a bit like many African-American writers or like Thomas Pynchon in that the story seems to be unfolding around me instead of in front of me. I feel as if Lessing somehow wrapped her mind all the way around me and enveloped me with the story, but I am lost in the middle of it. I am constantly looking around to see what is happening, but I never can catch the big picture because I am continually circling around the main idea grasping for details.
Doris Lessing writes like I live, but I can’t get it. I sort of stand in the middle of my life looking around wondering what the fuck is going on! I am supposed to be going to the library today to get books for my projects, but I decided to stay home, do the dishes and laundry, cut the behind-the-ear hair balls off the dogs, and read. I needed a break. And I am taking one. Lately it seems as if I can’t grasp the big picture of my life. I try to imagine myself in ten or fifteen years. I can’t do it. I can only frantically look around trying to figure out what is going with me in the here and now. I am trying to say something intelligent about God and my relationship with [Them] with my life, but it comes out scrambled. I am trying to do something for myself within academia, but I am so frazzled that nothing comes out right. I seek to do the right, but it comes out backwards.
I am looking forward to advent. I have enough of that old-school liturgical life left in me that I order my life better when I have something like the birth of Christ to look forward to. I am feeling pressure to focus my thoughts on God and to reflect about my life during Advent. One of the biggest things I am reflecting on is my choice to enter academia rather than trying to find somewhere to pastor. I told my friend, Myra, that I liked to think of teaching as secular pastoring. I think that helps me to release myself to teaching without wondering what else I could be doing. I sometimes still feel like I need to be doing something more than I am doing for other people. I feel so self-absorbed right now, and I know it is because I have to be. I have to focus on me, but knowing that and feeling okay about it are two distinctly different things.
So now I look forward to several things at once:
1) two twenty-five page papers, a multi-modal project, and a teaching portfolio
2) The Golden Notebook
3) seeing Amy tonight
4) going to Dayton for T-Day
5) going out with my mom and brother on Friday
6) finishing my first semester on the way to the rest of my life
7) celebrating Advent and looking forward to Christ, looking farther forward to Lent
I look forward and all around me and try to figure out, what the hell is going on here.